The delusional state of our Timocrats
March. 04 2011
Many are those who firmly believe that we need to totally ignore the ongoing wayward behaviour of those arguing for a repeat performance of a Tahir Square uprising in Meskel Square. While part of me tends to go along with their line of thinking, given the track record of whimsical cyber warriors notorious for their empty and interminable sabre-rattling, my other half nudges me to be relentless in warning my fellow compatriots not to be led through the primrose path.
It’s all easy to pontificate from the comfort of our homes and offices outside Ethiopia an unsavoury scenario for our compatriots to adhere to whatever the consequences. On the other hand, so huge are differences in attitudes and opinions between the Diaspora and the Homeland on the need for another round of revolution that it makes Timocrats ongoing rumblings on regime change look utterly delusional, not to say surrealistic. The online dictionary describes Timocracy as “a political system in which love of honour is deemed the guiding principles of government.” Today it has become an open secret that within the Ethiopian Diaspora in America and Europe, there exist a vociferous few who because they have a handle to their names and fat bank accounts, wrongly believe that they have an automatic right to rule over the “silent lambs.” So etched in the minds of Timocrats is such a, baneful attitude that even their darling clown-cum-human-rights-activists deemed it right to fulminate in 2005 that while EPDRF was a galaxy of mere “Atos,” CUD was parading its gaggle of “Doctors.” The half-baked simply fail to realise that in the US a haberdasher, Harold Truman, had made it to the White House, while in the UK Sir Winston Churchill and John Major were both secondary school under-graduates.
Mere academic excellence or glittering careers at neither a blue-chip company, nor a seven-digit bank account guarantees automatic entry to the Ethiopian Gibbi. The road to Arat Kilo – like the road to Huddersfield (the home of the Industrial revolution) is through hard and dedicated work to the people and to the country. Make no mistake: hard and dedicated work remains the hallmark of EPDRF’s rule which has transformed Ethiopia – to borrow Sir Bob Geldof’s own words – “beyond recognition.”
What we are witnessing in Ethiopia today is, therefore, a continuation of a revolution which first began in 1974, but because it was road-jacked by the men-in-uniform, had to jumpstart in 1991. So what’s all these hullaballoo about a revolution now? The answer in fair measure is to be found in the psyche of those who still hold to the anachronistic belief that it’s time for the ‘free-hold’ of Ethiopia be returned to what they consider are the rightful owners – “the chosen race.” I am reminded here by what Prime Minister Meles Zenawi once told Ben of Ethiopiafirst.com “there are those who had suddenly being awakened by a harsh reality-check.
It is incredibly bewildering to note that after all the changes and fixtures that had taken place in Ethiopia over the last 20 years, Timocrats still refuse to believe that the newly configured Ethiopia is a sure-fire way of maintaining a patchwork nation like Ethiopia intact. To Timocrats, unity must only mean uniformity: one flag with a menacing-looking lion in the centre, the dominance of Amharic at the expense of other languages as well as Unitarian government in Addis Ababa with Governors appointed to the “provinces.” Celebrating rather than suffocating our differences, Timocrats continue to argue, is a sure-fire way of turning Ethiopia into a bon-fire waiting to happen. They, therefore, refuse to digest that the state of the union has never been as robust as it is now.
Recently our eldest daughter received an invite from one of her 2000 Face book friends “to join the revolution to oust EPDRF by hook or by crook on May 28th 2011.” Having been born and bred among the ever green valleys of North Wales, our daughter had to contend with the thought of being at the receiving end of negative stories on Ethiopia from her British school friends who viewed Ethiopia as short-hand for famine and war. So fearful had she become that the very thought of a family holiday in Ethiopia was unthinkable. But a DVD on Ethiopia Today did the trick! Not only does she today look forward to a summer holiday in Ethiopia, but this year she if fired up to join a group of 20 volunteers to work with Oxfam Ethiopia. Our daughter’s response to her Face book friend couldn’t, therefore, have been more timely or succinct: “Thanks for your invite, but I have already joined a revolution to rid Ethiopians from poverty, sickness and backwardness. If you think you have a drop of patriotism in you, instead of sitting on your hands, why don’t you join me in this sacred revolution?”
Let’ face it, not even EPDRF defends that life in Ethiopia is a bed of roses. We all know our strength and weaknesses. We also are aware of the monumental challenges which we face in keeping a patchwork nation like Ethiopia intact and working. But in our heart of hearts, we all know it all too well that our today is far better than our yesterday. As for our tomorrow, God willing, as Ethiopia’s Five Year Growth and Development Plan rightly stipulates, we will transform Ethiopia into a magnetic nation where foreign nationals would queue up to apply for their Ethiopian Diversity Visa (DV). Let Ethiopia flourish!